Thursday, 22 September 2016

Light Up Cards

Light Up Christmas Cards by Janet Packer on the Silhouette UK Blog using LED Stickers and copper tape circuits.

Janet here with a fun idea to make greeting cards extra special by adding interactive lighting!

These cards contain a battery which powers a tiny light bulb that lights up when a certain part of the card is pressed; fun to make and great fun to receive!

The reindeer card is relatively straight forward, but being an easel card, the snowflake card is a little more complex so I have included detailed instructions for you.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (For the Rudolph card) :
Plain, pearlised and patterned cardstock
Red vellum (or vellum coloured red with alcohol markers, or printed)
Silhouette Cameo® or Silhouette Portrait®
Adhesive foam tape & foam dot
Card adhesive
LED bulb sticker (red), copper tape, flat 3V battery (I used Chibi Lights LED Stickers Kit)
Reindeer Holiday Rectangle file download by Loni Harris (#51516)
Chapstick Box Snowflake file (for the snowflake & button only) (#70564)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (For the Snowflake card) :
Plain, pearlised and patterned cardstock
Clear vellum
White gem
Silhouette Cameo® or Silhouette Portrait®
Adhesive foam tape
Card Adhesive
LED bulb sticker (blue or clear), copper tape, flat 3V battery (I used Chibi Lights LED Stickers Kit)
A2 Snowflake Easel file download by Lori Whitlock (#66545)
Chapstick Box Snowflake (for the small snowflakes only) (#70564)
Arrows file (for the arrows) (#45683)
Valentine Set file (for the word 'Love') (#54154)


The snowflake card is lit by a tiny light bulb sticker, not much thicker than a piece of heavy-weight card, hidden behind the snowflake. The bulb is powered by a thin battery and controlled by a switch positioned beneath the sentiment banner. The two are joined by a circuit made with self-adhesive copper tape. This is roughly what the circuit looks like.

It is necessary to alter the file pieces slightly to hide all the parts. To do this I edited some of the shapes to have holes to mark the placement of the battery and bulb and to allow the tape to pass through the card also a few extra pieces to hide the copper tape. I also added some extra decorative holes to the centre of the snowflake and added a sentiment and push instructions using this font and these decorative elements (love, arrows) to the instruction label.

... and this is how the pieces fit together, showing the location of the bulb and battery.


Here are the pieces once cut.


1. Assemble the snowflake, layer three snowflakes and sandwich the vellum shape between the top layer and one below. This will disguise the light bulb.

2. The main (long) part of the card has two fold lines which both fold down, towards the bottom of the card base.  The green panel with the slot will be adhered to the font face of the top folded section and the snowflake and bulb mounted on that.

3. (A) Taking one length of copper tape, remove the backing paper and stick it down the back of the main piece spanning the place where the switch will be up to the second fold (which is also where the middle of the snowflake will be).  (B) Pass it through the slot and along the inside edge of the hole where the bulb will be. It is necessary to make a turn and reverse the sticky side of the tape and this is done by gentle folding (and is the trickiest bit by far). N.B. Large dots are on the reverse of the paper piece.

3. (C) Check that the pieces will align.  I added a small extra piece (white) to match the holes in the snowflake to reflect the light better (just trimmed from a spare snowflake).  (D) Put the copper tape back through the hole in the front face of the card to work out where the tape will need to be placed to align with the negative section on the bulb sticker. Stick it down on to the back of the green slotted card. The excess tape can be trimmed off. Don't stick the red piece down yet.

4. Now, use a second piece of copper tape to make a similar parallel strip. (E) At the battery end pass the tape through the hole and replace a little of the backing paper on it, so that it doesn't stick to anything (yet). Pass the other end through the slit at the bulb end, make a similar turn and stick the tape down so it aligns with the positive area on the bulb sticker (F). Ensure that the pieces of tape do not touch (this will light the bulb, and we don't want it to do that until we make a switch to be pressed for the bulb to light).

5. Test that the circuit is correct by touching the bottom ends of the tape onto the battery. If the bulb doesn't light turn the battery over (reversing the positive and negative) otherwise check there are no breaks in the tape. if so they can be patched. (G) If the bulb works, separate the tape ends again, and mount the snowflake. (H) Attach the blank white rectangle beneath the battery position, trapping the first piece of copper tape. (I) Attach the smaller green rectangle to the back of the centre section to cover the parallel section of copper tape.

6. (J) Remove the backing from the remaining piece of copper tape, turn and fold it and attach it to the back of the label back pieces and attach that to the card. (K) To make the switch, turn, fold and attach the end of tape to a scrap circle with a short tape hinge. Place the battery in position and adhere pieces of foam tape around the battery to hold it in place. Trim the scrap down so that it can sit inside the foam and reach the battery, but doesn't stick to foam or remain in contact with the battery. (L) Add foam tape to the edges of the label piece. Check that the bulb lights when the flap is pressed then adhere the next label place. Finally add some glue to the top of the flap and the instruction label edges and attach it.  

7. Your card is now complete and will light up when the instruction label is pressed.

There must be hundreds of card designs in the Silhouette store that you could add these lights to. I challenge you to try it!

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DESIGNS USED (Snowflake Card):

DESIGNS USED (Rudolph Card):



  1. Super fun Janet, I must get a wee kit and have a shot at this :)

  2. where do you buy the lights from please?

    1. Are you in the UK Mary? Lots of places have them in the US but no one else except this place seems to have them in stock at the moment in the UK. This is where I bought them from. ://

    2. Apologies, here is the full address.